Goal Setting Not Working For You? Here’s Why

How important is goal setting for you?  I guess on a scale of one to ten you might give it a three, maybe a four.  This is a fairly low score for something so important for success.

This makes me wonder; why would you give goal setting such a low score?

Why do we shy away from goal setting, even though we know how powerful it is in personal success?

Goal Setting Lead to Success

We tend to shy away from goal setting even though we know successful individuals live goal focused lifestyles.  They mastered the discipline of goal setting very well. They typically have clear goal statements outlining objectives.

I think we tend to avoid goal setting because we get frustrated with the process of goal setting.  The question remains;

Given the importance of goal setting, why do you not engage in the discipline of setting clearly defined and measurable goals?

Brain Tracy offers four possible causes in his book, “Goals! How to Get Everything You want, Faster than You Ever Thought Possible”  for why we are unsuccessful at goal setting.

You Believe Goal Setting is Not Important

The significance of goal setting for a successful life cannot be emphasised enough.  Yet if you gave goal setting a score anywhere below seven, chances are you don’t set goals.  Why is this?

A possible answer might be tucked away in our childhood and in the way we grew up.  If you grew up in a house were goal setting was not part of the day-to-day discipline, chances are it would not be important for you.  Because goal setting was not modelled for you by your parents you never learned to integrate this discipline in your day-to-day life.  As a result, you might not value goal setting as being a significant part of your success, or the lack thereof.

People Don’t Know How to Practice Goal Setting

If you were never taught how to set goals from childhood, you still might still not know how to do it.  You may think you have goals.  However, taking a closer look reveals those goals as merely a number of fuzzy desires or needs like “To be happy” or “To have a lot of money”.

A goal is expressly distinctive from a dream or a desire. It’s very clear, specific and written down. It’s got measurable results to point out without any doubt once you accomplish the goal.

The Fear of Failure

Once written down a goal puts a measure of pressure on you to complete it.  If you are like most people, this will cause a measure of anxiety about failing in you.  Soon fear of not being able to achieve the goal sets in.  So rather than experiencing this anxiety and fear, you just don’t set clearly written down goals.

 Although unfortunate, failure cannot always be entirely prevented.

How you react to failure however rests squarely in your control.  Framing failure as building blocks you begin to build a successful life.  With each failure you experience, you get one step closer to living your desired life.

The Fear of Rejection

The Fear of Rejection makes you believe if you fail at a goal, you will be less acceptable to family and friends. To avoid this rejection, you don’t set goals.

To overcome this fear, apply a measure of discretion about your goals. You don’t have to publicise everything about your personal goals. You can allow the outcomes to speak for itself, once you do accomplish your goals.

You should keep in mind successful people don’t see setting goals as being an isolated activity.  Goal setting form a fundamental element of their lifestyles.  It permits them to live considerably more focussed lives.  Living with goal setting as an integrated component of your life brings many benefits.  Goal focussed individuals enjoy a lot more financial stability and much more satisfying relationships.  They tend to be more at peace with themselves and achieve considerably more than many people might actually dream of.

Living a goal orientated life assists in unlocking a positive mind-set. This in turn releases the energy necessary to do whatever it takes to achieve the goal. Applying the discipline of goal setting as an integrated part of your lifestyle can help you build successful life.

Do you regularly set goals for yourself?

What process do you follow to ensure you achieve your goals?

Written by Joseph Hawking

I have a passion for people & leadership development and since I discovered my mom’s old typewriter as a boy, I have written in some form or another.
I started blogging in 2017 and in August 2018, I started The Leadership Connexion with the aim to make the connection between Business, Leadership and Life. My professional experience span across various business disciplines, including Training, Project Management, Human Resource Management and Finance. I have a MBA degree, am co-founder a Industrial Water Treatment Company and lecture International Business at Monash SA University.
I am part of the Leadership for The International Mentoring Network (IMN), South African Chapter, where I am a regular Idea Studio Facilitator and Annual IMN Conference Speaker. I believe that the highest form of living is using what you are blessed with to add value to other people’s lives.

These Posts Might Also Interest You

About Joseph Hawking

I have a passion for people & leadership development and since I discovered my mom’s old typewriter as a boy, I have written in some form or another.
I started blogging in 2017 and in August 2018, I started The Leadership Connexion with the aim to make the connection between Business, Leadership and Life. My professional experience span across various business disciplines, including Training, Project Management, Human Resource Management and Finance. I have a MBA degree, am co-founder a Industrial Water Treatment Company and lecture International Business at Monash SA University.
I am part of the Leadership for The International Mentoring Network (IMN), South African Chapter, where I am a regular Idea Studio Facilitator and Annual IMN Conference Speaker. I believe that the highest form of living is using what you are blessed with to add value to other people’s lives.